It was second time lucky for Alice Knight (19), from Hampshire, who became the 2022 Dartmoor Step Dance Champion at the 45th Dartmoor Folk Festival held at South Zeal from August 5-7.

The Dartmoor Step Dance competition is one of the main traditions associated with the festival.

Dancers step on a 15 inch board, showing their different steps to try and outstep the previous dancer until a final champion is decided upon.

Alice previously won the title in 2019 and in 2017 was the Junior Step Dance Champion.

Alice said she loved attending the Dartmoor festival.

She explained: “Since I was born I have only ever missed it twice.

“On two occasions I was dancing in professional shows so couldn’t make it.

“I learned the Step Dance steps at workshops held at the festival each year.

“The steps are very similar to tap dancing and I have used some of that to work on the steps.”

Alice continued: “I love the folkie world, it has always been a big part of my life.”

When she was younger she said that she attempted to win the Dartmoor Broom Dance Championships at the festival.

She continued: “I came second so many times, but I just never won it.”

This year’s Junior Step Dance Champion was Stanley Frangleton (14), from South Zeal.

He previously won the title in 2020, when the competition was held virtually.

In the Dartmoor Broom Dancing Championships it was Bethany Gentle (11), from South Zeal, who took the 2022 Championship title.

This competition sees competitors dance with and over a broom and is for primary school aged children.

There were many competitors in all of the competitions.


The festival included song and music sessions, concerts, ceilidhs, church service, a Grand Dart-i-moor Fayre, Folk for All afternoon, children’s entertainment, a duck race, skittles, crafts, dance displays, pub sessions and a ramble on Dartmoor.

Top local and national folk artists took part.

Festival chairman, Jason Rice, said it was “great that the festival was able to go ahead”.

“It was a fantastic weekend and we cannot thank enough those who helped make it such a success,” he said.

Alan Quick, press officer, said: “It was 43 years ago that the Dartmoor Folk Festival was founded by the late Bob Cann, who lived in the parish of South Zeal. He had the dream of a folk event on his doorstep that would help to revive and preserve the traditions of Dartmoor.

“Mr Cann was awarded the British Empire Medal for his services to folk music, which included founding the festival.

“It was the traditional music, dance, song and crafts of the area that formed the basis for the first festival and they still remain for the association which runs the festival today.

“Since it was founded it has grown and we are able to invite some of the best folk artists around, whilst maintaining the festival’s reputation for being a relaxed, friendly and traditional festival.

“An action-packed programme comprising three days of music, song, dance and crafts is organised each year.

“Entertainment is arranged for the whole family to enjoy, whether to take part or simply sit and watch. Most events are very modestly priced and some are totally free, so there is always something for everyone.

“The festival is deeply rooted in the heart of the Dartmoor community and is keeping customs and traditions alive.”